Guidance Issued For Federal Contractors On New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Volume: 20 | Issue: 62
September 28, 2021

The new Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued guidance to help employers understand and implement President Biden’s September 9th Executive Order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 and adopt other safety protocols. Employers who contract with the federal government will want to carefully review this 14-page guidance that provides detailed definitions and explanations regarding these new requirements.

Please note the following key points:

  1. The Executive Order specifies which types of contracts are included and excluded from the new COVID-19 requirements. Employers will want to review Section 5 of the Executive Order carefully.
  2. If you are covered by the Executive Order, its safety requirements will apply to all covered contractor employees, including employees in covered contractor workplaces who are not working on a federal government contract.
  3. Covered contractors must ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation, by December 8, 2021. Employers cannot accept recent antibody tests to prove vaccination status and cannot excuse employees from the vaccine mandate who have had COVID-19. Moreover, employees who work remotely are still required to be vaccinated even if the employee never works at either a covered contractor workplace or federal workplace during the performance of the contract.
  4. Covered contractors must adopt CDC guidance for masking and physical distancing at their workplaces for all employees and visitors. This includes requiring masks for the fully vaccinated in areas of high or substantial community transmission. An employee working in their own home does not need to comply with masking and physical distancing requirements. 
  5. Covered contractors must designate a person to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety efforts at their workplace. This person may be the same individual responsible for implementing any COVID-19 protocols required by state or local requirements.

KZA attorneys are available to help you navigate these new requirements.  

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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